15 Hardest Puzzles You Can Get on Amazon
Looking for the ultimate challenge? These mind-bending jigsaw puzzles will test your skills—and keep you thoroughly entertained.
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Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve all been looking for interesting things to do at home. You’ve probably taken a bunch of virtual tours and played a whole lot of board games. Maybe you even picked up a quarantine meditation practice or discovered an amazing hobby you’ll never give up. But now that months have gone by, chances are you’re searching for something new. So, how can you pass the time in a way that’s fun, challenging, and—dare we say—relaxing? By tackling a puzzle, of course! If you’re whipping through a 500-piece puzzle in one sitting, it’s time to up the ante. From monochromatic masterpieces to an 18,000-piece tour de force, we’ve got the perfect suggestions for you.
Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.
Are you ready for 654 soft-click pieces of pure blank space? Ravensburger’s Krypt puzzle series comes in silver, black, or gold. No matter which color you choose, it’s a challenge to complete a jigsaw on shapes alone. A sealed, secret diagram is included with the puzzle for those who want a peek at the overall design. One Amazon reviewer hints, “In the middle is a massive spiral, spiraling from smaller pieces to larger, barely curved pieces.” Whether you use the helpful diagram or not, we’re giving major accolades to anyone who conquers the Krypt. When you need a break from this challenge, flex your mental muscles with these 95 brain games guaranteed to boost your brain power.
Magic Tree of Life
Most people learn to do puzzles by sorting out the edges and completing the frame first. But what do you do when a puzzle isn’t square and the edges aren’t even straight? Find out when you tackle the Magic Tree of Life. This 1,000-piece wonder is a gorgeous kaleidoscope of colors in the shape of a mandala. Of course, a traditional mandala is completely symmetrical, but the puzzle makers at Bgraamiens made this one imperfect for an extra challenge. Stunningly vibrant, the Magic Tree of Life makes a perfect gift for puzzle fans who frame their finished masterpieces. Here are more great holiday gifts for game lovers.
Picture this: a giant white square, crisscrossed by mesmerizing black lines. Sounds like modern art, right? Now picture the image shattered into 1,000 pieces. What you’re seeing in your mind’s eye is The Lines, a puzzle so abstract that you’ll be tempted to cheat. And with this jigsaw puzzle, you can cheat—the pieces are lettered on the back to indicate which section they belong in. It might be tempting to peek, but give it your best shot first. If your eyes need a break from the monochrome madness, check out the soothing artwork at one of the 20 most popular museums in the world.
The Indian Feather
Another 1,000-piece mandala—though this one is symmetrical!—this is Amazon’s top choice for a “psychedelic puzzle.” It’s easy to understand why. The neon swirling feather pattern atop a black background tugs at your gaze and makes you second-guess where that jigsaw piece in your hand really belongs. Amazon reviewer Meghan wrote, “I have literally never been excited to do a puzzle before (thanks coronavirus), but this design is sooo pretty! I love that it’s round too—it makes it different from a traditional puzzle and harder.” Need a little help? Read how these jigsaw champions solve puzzles at record speeds.
Mickey Through the Years
This massive ode to Disney’s Mickey Mouse includes ten 4,000-piece puzzles that can be linked together after completion. The result? A 22- x 6-foot mural fit for a Disney-themed nursery, playroom, or bedroom. Mickey Through the Years has 40,320 total pieces, and it covers nine decades of Mickey magic, from Steamboat Willie to colorful versions of Mickey, Pluto, and Goofy. And no, the price isn’t a typo: Ringing up at $266 as of October 2020, this is the most expensive puzzle on our list (though remember that you’re getting ten puzzles in one, and the final product can be framed and displayed). Wrap it in a big red bow and pair it with homemade Mickey Mouse beignets as an extra special gift for the Disney aficionado in your life!
Quarantine has given everyone a touch of cabin fever. Escape with 18,000 pieces of tropical paradise. The glow on the water, the colorful floral framing, and the crashing waves will help satisfy your vacation longings without leaving the house. Whether it takes you weeks or months, this giant slice of paradise will be worth the wait. And hey, maybe piecing it together around your kitchen table will give you the motivation to plan a 2021 vacation to one of these breathtaking all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean. This puzzle has flown off the shelves during quarantine, so buy one before Amazon’s stock is depleted!
As the product description states, this is a “fiendishly difficult” puzzle. Though it only encompasses 529 pieces, the repetitive pattern of dozens of Dalmatians could make you feel like you’re seeing double. One reviewer says, “Advertised as the world’s hardest puzzle—and it truly is. We tried for weeks to put it together, and finally surrendered, to bring it back out some other rainy day. Difficult in the most awesome of ways, but so frustrating at the same time. The advertised difficulty is not inaccurate at all!”
So, will you be the one to complete this devilish monstrosity? Have one delivered to your doorstep, pop some popcorn, hit “play” on one of the best dog movies of all time (background entertainment is great during puzzle time), and let us know!
If Krypt is too challenging, ease in with this delightfully vivid rainbow puzzle. Reviewers rave about the high-quality eco-friendly cardboard pieces, too. A circular prism of all the colors of the rainbow, this puzzle is best solved in a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion. Try arranging the pieces by primary colors to begin—or go rogue and complete it without any pre-sorting! By the way, this is what happens to your brain when you do a puzzle.
This dark, sumptuous image of purple succulents will calm you and challenge you at the same time. The outlines of the plants give more direction than truly monochromatic jigsaws—but the fact that all 1,000 pieces are in different shades of purple is what landed it on this list. It’s not easy telling the top-right succulent from the bottom-left, but it will all come together in time. The good news is that the puzzle makers at BetterCo. have a “no missing pieces” guarantee. Find a gap in your finished work of art? Just contact the company for a replacement. While you’re waiting for your order to arrive, test your smarts with these 30 printable crossword puzzles.
Gradient puzzles are difficult. Monochromatic puzzles, even more challenging. But have you heard of the near-impossible clear plastic Broken Glass puzzle? It’s only 161 pieces, but each transparent, jagged piece could take hours to insert. You’ll also struggle to figure out the puzzle’s front from its back. At least the shatter-like design means each piece is truly unique. You might not want to frame the finished product, but this puzzle makes a perfect novelty addition to any jigsaw lover’s collection.
King Arthur’s Camelot in 3D
Not every jigsaw fan loves three-dimensional puzzles. Still, there’s no doubt that 3D puzzles add an extra challenge. Wrebbit’s 3D model of King Arthur’s Camelot is as mind-boggling as it gets. Eight hundred sixty-five foam-lined pieces will rise 12 inches (30.48 cm) over your tabletop. Amazon reviewer B. Scott says, “This is one of the more difficult puzzles we’ve done. The colors, shades of stonework, and similar patterns make it challenging to assemble. The small footprint makes it challenging to construct. But we do love a challenge!”
Moon Jigsaw Puzzle
When you look at the moon in the sky it typically looks like it’s only one color, which is why this moon jigsaw puzzle is so difficult. The circular shape and limited shades of gray will keep you rotating puzzle pieces and guessing for hours. Reviewers rave about the high quality of the puzzle pieces, which is helpful when you need to handle and inspect each piece a few times before you place it in the correct spot.
Forest in Black and White
If you liked The Lines puzzle (or found it a little too daunting), this 1,000 piece puzzle is a good one to try too. The angled trees and thin black lines will give you the ultimate challenge when trying to fit together these pieces. The end result provides a very vivid image even though the colors are just black and white.
Gradient Jigsaw Puzzle
If you don’t have great eyes, you might want to pick one of the other puzzles to tackle. This gradient puzzle creates a stunning image, but putting it together will pose quite a challenge. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “Putting this puzzle together was quite a journey. It started off fairly easy, then got harder and easier off and on until I was left with the magenta corner of doom…Many times I wanted to flip my table and just put the puzzle back in the box, but I can’t not finish these things, so I persisted. Days went by. Weeks. Sometimes I was only able to put a few pieces together before I just gave up. Then, today, I connected some pieces and was left with a heart-shaped hole in the puzzle. I powered through and finally finished.”
Mechanical 3D Wooden Puzzle
Woodworkers and puzzle fans, unite! This incredible wooden engineering puzzle will entertain teens and adults for hours. Plus, it’s not only challenging and fun but also truly beautiful and handcrafted, and it doesn’t contain any added toxins. To start, you’ll need to pop laser-cut wooden pieces from wood sheets. It’s a bit of extra work, but reviewers say the pre-assembly is part of the fun. The puzzle comes with full instructions for assembly, though you’re welcome to try figuring out the patterns on your own. For a different type of challenge, try these word puzzles that just might leave you stumped.
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